The party was in a two story loft that was beautifully furnished. Red brick covered the walls of the loft. Windows and a see through door covered the wall that connected the first floor room to the balcony. There was a staircase that lead to Nicole’s room, but nobody was allowed upstairs. It was modernly decorated with sofas arranged nicely inside of the loft. Hardwood covered the floors and a grand piano sat in the corner of the room. The space also included a dining room table, a large kitchen, and a bathroom on the first floor. The loft was a balance of both simple and luxurious tastes. The place itself was breathtaking, and a lot better than the beat up apartments that college students were used to having parties in.
It was Nicole’s parents’ loft that they had gifted to their daughter when she got accepted into college. Although she opted to live on campus, the loft was only a couple of miles away, and it was where Nicole entertained friends occasionally. The only reason she accepted her parents gift was because of the strict no-pets policy on campus, and she needed a place to keep her cat, Calamity Jane. Nicole would feed and spend afternoons with her companion in the loft and then return to campus. Nicole reluctantly let her friends borrow the loft for the night after her friend’s apartment became unavailable. She let them use it under two conditions. That she could invite whoever she wanted, and that random guests were not allowed to touch CJ.
When they arrived the loft was filled with people, and Waverly noticed that it had a great view of the city. Nicole’s parents had a lot of money. Money that could’ve bought Nicole more than just the loft, but she never mentioned that to anyone. She didn’t even mention that the loft was hers to Waverly when she initially invited her. Wynonna and Shae were the only ones that knew anything about Nicole’s economic status, and Wynonna had vaguely mentioned it to Waverly earlier that day.
Nicole was very sensitive about the subject. She was aware that her parents could open doors for her, and because of that, she had worked harder her entire life to earn everything she had. Nicole paid for her college tuition with a sports scholarship for running track, and she got a job as a residence advisor to offset the cost of housing instead of having to move into the loft her parents offered her. Nicole loved her family, but she made it clear that she liked being independent from a very young age. She was an only child and her parents had always set unrealistic expectations for her to live up to. Her parents had always been very particular of Nicole’s friend groups and who they wanted around her in terms of status. Wynonna Earp was definitely not someone that they wanted their daughter to be best friends with, and they expressed it to Nicole constantly. They met Wynonna a couple of times when they visited the campus, and they reiterated to Nicole that they were grateful she wasn’t romantically interested in an Earp. Nicole attracted a lot of girls, but was known to leave before things got too serious. A big reason for that was Nicole’s fear that her parents would set impossible standards for the girl she was dating.
Sixteen-year-old Nicole had even prolonged coming out to her family because of that. She would have hidden it longer if she hadn’t been caught kissing her high school best friend, Sophie, in her room. Her mother asked Sophie to leave and proceeded to scorn Nicole for her interest in the girl. However, her mom wasn’t angry that Nicole was attracted to girls, and she comforted a scared wide-eyed Nicole. She told her daughter that she’s always known about her sexuality, and that she loved her dearly. But explained that she was upset at who Nicole had chosen to get involved with. Nicole’s parents deemed Sophie unsuitable to date their daughter, and did everything to tear them apart. Causing Nicole to eventually break up with her first girlfriend in order to keep her safe from her judgmental parents. It was difficult for Nicole to leave Sophie and it was the first time Nicole experienced true heartbreak. The experience hardened her, and since then she made a conscious decision to make relationships strictly physical rather than emotional. Her parents’ controlling nature had strained their relationship over the years, and they could go months on end without talking. But Nicole’s parents absolutely loved Shae Pressman.
Shae was an aspiring doctor, and the Haught-Pressman families had been good friends for some time. The pair were officially introduced over the summer by their parents, and they hit it off instantly. Nicole’s confidence and charm made her irresistible to most, and Shae was no exception. The two quickly became inseparable. Spontaneous make out sessions weren’t surprising among the pair. Their relationship relied heavily on their attraction to one another, it was passionate and fun. Shae made it clear at the end of the summer that she wanted Nicole to be her girlfriend; she wanted an exclusive relationship. Nicole liked Shae a lot, but she couldn’t deny that a huge reason that she agreed to be with her was because it would make things simpler with her parents.
When they arrived to the party, Shae went to greet her friends. The music was loud and people were gathered dancing and drinking to the beat. The two had to stand closely to hear each other talk. Nicole looked at Waverly and apologized for Shae’s behavior in the staircase. She explained that Shae isn’t usually that possessive. Waverly smiled and pretended that it didn’t bother her.
“If you were my girlfriend, I would kiss you like that all the time too.” Waverly blurted, and quickly regretted it.
Nicole blushed, her cheeks turned pink, she fixed her eyes on the hardwood floor beneath her.
In an attempt to keep herself from having to explain her last statement, Waverly walked over to liquor bottles that were placed on a table. She poured three shots worth of tequila into a cup and drank it straight, she shuttered at the burning sensation that filled her throat. Nicole raised her eyebrows slightly impressed. She walked over to her and said loudly, “So I guess that makes me the designated driver then,” flashing her a signature Nicole Haught smile.
Are you kidding, stop with the dimples Nicole. You’re making it hard to be your friend, Waverly thought as she walked away into the crowd of people.
After talking to a few people Waverly noticed Nicole out of the corner of her eye. She saw that Nicole sipped on a single beer and sat on an outdoor couch in the balcony that overlooked the city. Nicole had an orange cat on her lap; the cat was completely enamored with Nicole’s touch.
Welp that makes two of us cat, Waverly thought to herself.
Waverly wondered what thoughts ran through the beautiful girl’s mind. Waverly walked outside and sat next to her. The quiet was soothing. She smiled politely not wanting to interrupt Nicole’s thoughts. Waverly’s inhibitions were lowered, and she knew that she had to watch her mouth. “Can I?” Waverly asked pointing at the cat.
“Yeah sure, but she usually doesn’t respond well to – ” CJ purred as Waverly ran her fingers through the cats’ soft coat. “Nevermind, CJ seems to like you too,” Nicole added looking up to meet Waverly’s eyes.
Okay she said too, so that means she likes me one, right? Waverly thought. She couldn’t hide her smile. Trying to change the subject she said, “Nice place.”
Nicole’s smile faded, “Thanks, um. I’ll let my parents know.” Nicole placed the cat on the ground and CJ walked towards the cat bed set up in the corner.
Waverly noticed that she had hit a sour spot, “hey - I’m glad you invited me, I’m having a great time. I’ve met a couple of people.” Nicole was staring at the ground so Waverly bent her head to catch her attention and continued, “but if I’m being honest you’re the only one that I really want to talk to.”
Nicole laughed lightly to suppress her growing smile, “Yeah, I noticed. You sure know how to throw them back.”
“Well I learned from the best,” Waverly answered sharing an anecdote of a drunken night with Wynonna in high school.
Nicole was sober and completely aware that Waverly inched closer every minute they talked. She playfully touched the ends of Nicole’s hair and gently placed her hand on her thigh as she talked. Nicole unknowingly followed Waverly’s hand movements with her eyes, and it only encouraged her to continue doing it. Waverly definitely knew she was being flirtatious, but she didn’t have plans to stop. She knew that Nicole had a girlfriend, a gorgeous girlfriend, but couldn’t deny that they had a special connection. She wanted to pursue the red-haired girl. After all, flirting is innocent.
But Nicole was a very loyal person. She would never cheat on her summertime girlfriend or anyone for that matter. But she also wasn’t naïve, and the older girl couldn’t deny that Waverly’s pull on her was magnetic. Waverly could ask anything of her, and she would gladly abide. They had just met, but she felt an unexplainable attraction to the younger Earp.
“Waverly Earp, you are a mystery.” Nicole interrupted focusing her attention on Waverly’s fingers that were drawing patterns on the side of her jeans. Pausing her story, Waverly looked up into Nicole’s eyes.
“Am, I?” she said innocently noticing the charm in Nicole’s voice.
“Yeah” Nicole answered, “and there’s something about you that draws me in and I just - I just don’t know what it is,” she said softly. Nicole brought herself closer to Waverly. Their eyes met again, but this time they stared at one another like they were each others’ entire world.
You have a girlfriend; your heart can’t be racing, not like this. Come on, it’s Wynonna’s little sister, Nicole tried to reason to herself. Oh no. I think I’m going to kiss her if she comes any closer.
Waverly wanted to kiss Nicole deeply then and there. She would have, if the thought of what would happen if Nicole pulled away hadn’t entered her mind. Fighting every instinct that told her to kiss Nicole, Waverly talked herself down. She was a planner, and she knew that this wasn’t going to be a fling. She was definitely not going to be just another girl that threw themselves at Nicole. She had to do it right, and most of all Waverly wasn’t going to be the one to make Nicole Haught a cheater. She wanted Nicole to want her just as bad as she did, without feeling guilty about it. But having Nicole this close to her was dangerous. Waverly needed to create distance between them, in order to keep herself from kissing Nicole the way Shae had in the staircase.
“Well I’m sure Shae’s looking for you” Waverly said sourly hoping to ruin the moment.
“Um, yeah you’re probably right,” Nicole said stuttering feeling like she had made Waverly uncomfortable.
Waverly watched as Nicole walked inside and into the sea of people to look for her girlfriend. She felt dizzy at the thought of the two together, and the alcohol coursing through her blood didn’t help. She sat on the couch grabbing the beer that Nicole had left behind. She watched as Shae wrapped her arms around Nicole. Rolling her eyes and taking a drink out of the beer bottle, Waverly grabbed CJ and whispered being petty, “Nicole Haught. Mine.”